An Introduction to Analytics for Ecommerce Websites

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Timely and accurate information is always crucial to making sound business decisions. This is especially true in the online marketing business where information, trends and consumer preferences are constantly changing and evolving. It is important for your business to know what strategies are working and where to focus your resources. Mastering the practise of web analytics enables you to be aware of your market and get the maximum results from your efforts- which is especially crucial for small or medium sized businesses with limited resources.


Funnels are one of the most fundamental concepts in web analytics. All marketing activities are analysed using this framework. The following is an example of a typical marketing funnel:

Step1: A consumer sees one of your posts on Facebook
Step2: The consumer clicks on the post
Step3: They then land on the page that showcases the particular product and click “add to cart”
Step4: The consumer clicks on check out
Step5: The consumer then enters their personal information and finalises the purchase

At each step in this funnel process certain prospective consumers drop out of the process. Not everyone who sees your post will click on it, and not everyone who clicks on the post will proceed with the purchase. Web analytics helps you to analyse the psychological barriers that may prevent consumers from moving on to the next step.

Understanding Web Traffic

All web traffic can be divided into four categories: search, referral, campaign and direct. Search traffic is traffic that comes to your page directly as a result of the search engine, be it Google, Yahoo, Bing or any of the other smaller engines. Referral traffic comes as a result of a link on some other website. Campaign traffic comes as a result of tagging (more on that shortly) and Direct traffic originates from an unknown source.

The Importance of Tagging

It is also good practice to manually tag your marketing campaigns. If you have a special post on Facebook, you should manually tag this post otherwise it will not be distinguishable from an ordinary post on Google Analytics. UTMs are useful in this respect.

Funnell Analytics recommendations
Google Analytics and Kissmetrics are two useful tools for web analytics. Google analytics is a free tool that systematically organises your data to help you observe trends. It is best used along with Kissmetrics which provides a deeper analysis of the information. You should also be aware of other analytics tools such as Facebook Analytics and Twitter Analytics.


Tim Aldiss writes for Cloud-iQ the conversion optimisation experts.



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